Home Schoolers Learn How to Gain Clout Inside the Beltway
A Powerful Lobbying Force, Parents Wage Campaigns Through Phone and Fax
Parents who teach their children at home have become inside-the-Beltway pros, wielding enough clout to help block a Clinton administration bid for national student testing . . .
Worried that NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) will morph into a national test, home schoolers linked up with McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin, which fear that an expanded NAEP would give states and local school districts less reason to buy their standardized tests . . .
In terms of networking in Washington, the home schoolers provide some access, [Michael Kean, vice president of CTB/McGraw-Hill] says. They carry some people power.
Keith Oakley agrees. As chairman of the Texas House of Representatives public-safety committee in 1997, he sought to repeal a law that allowed parents to teach their children to drive, in place of certified instructors. Hundreds of home-schooling families packed the legislature in protest. With the help of a state representative whose own son was home-schooled, the bill was trounced.
Chastened, Mr. Oakley cites the defeat as part of the reason he didnt seek re-election in 1998. Ive still got their tire tracks on my back, he says.
Daniel Golden, The Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2000
Home-School Parents Sue District after Arrest
Truancy Charges Dropped in Virginia Case
A Virginia couple has sued their local school district for falsely arresting them after they removed their son from classes to home-school him.
Gerald and Angela Balderson of Warsaw, Va., southeast of Fredericksburg near the Rappahannock River, filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Richmond County School District after they were arrested over the states compulsory attendance law.
David Gordon, an attorney for the Purcellville, Va.-based Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), who is representing the family in the case, said yesterday he would not speculate why Bryan Almasian, an assistant principal at Richmond County Elementary School, called authorities on the Baldersons, who now are home-schooling their son Brett, 8.
Andrea Billups, The Washington Times, April 18, 2000
Parents Schooled Texas Phenom
If you watched the NCAA basketball tournament . . . you may have seen one of the beneficiaries of the Johnsons home-schooling efforts. . . . son Kevin is now a freshman playing for the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Last month he played out a dream by competing against teams like North Carolina . . . Carolina ultimately knocked Tulsa out of the tournament. Although its probably no great consolation to him, Kevin went home a winner in his own right: As far as anyone knows . . . hes the first home-schooler ever to play in the tournament known as March Madness.
Kenneth Smith, The Washington Times, April 6, 2000
Clinton Backs Home-Schooling on Schools Tour
ST. PAUL, Minn. (Reuters) - . . . In a cyberchat with students around the country, Clinton later said he believed that U.S. states should explicitly back home schooling as an option to public schools but insisted that such students should meet set standards.
. . . It is done in every state of the country and therefore the best thing to do is to get the home schoolers organized, he said.
. . . your children have to prove that theyre learning on a regular basis and if they dont prove that theyre learning then they have to go into a school, either into a parochial or private school or a public school, he added. . . . the children have to learn. Thats the public interest. . . .
Arshad Mohammed, www.reuters.com, May 4, 2000
Clinton Wants to Organize Home Schoolers
Concluding his two-day school reform tour, President Clinton yesterday said home-schooled children should have to prove that theyre learning on a regular basis or be forced to go to school. . . .
Michael Farris, president and founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, responded to Clintons remarks, saying, Theres no one right way to home school your child. The one size fits all approach to education is the reason public schools are struggling. The strength of home schooling is our ability to individualize the education of each child.
I think we are pretty organized, he said in reference to Clintons statement that home schoolers should get organized.
It would seem to me that the last person we would want to be organized by is the government, added Farris.
Julie Foster, WorldNetDaily.com, May 5, 2000